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2012’s Political Cradles of Drama

Cairo

Earlier in the year, millions of people around the world tuned in to view ground-breaking coverage of the urban uprising that took place in the bustling capital of Egypt. With neighboring countries such as Tunisia  erupting in mass protests, long suppressed frustration and anger towards Mubarak’s coercive regime was finally brought to the surface in Egypt. The public protested, Mubarak lost support of the military and the United States, and Egypt finally saw the end of Mubarak’s autocracy. But with the first parliamentary elections having already taken place, and doubts surfacing over the Muslim Brotherhood’s intentions (who are suspected to be allied with the staunchly conservative Islamist Al Nour party), Egypt’s future is anything but certain. As the subsequent platforms of parliamentary elections, legislative rounds, and presidential elections are scheduled to take place over the course of the coming year, Egypt should most certainly be in the spotlight. The importance of what happens during these months to come  should not be underestimated.

 

Tripoli

Having spent more than 40 years under the rigid rule of Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi and endured a six  month struggle to oust Qaddafi from power; Libyan rebels finally amassed enough power and support to overthrow the man that many saw as a tyrant. Now that the country has been liberated, a power struggle has commenced. Libyan rebel militia leaders who originally pledged to surrender their weapons have fallen back on their promise and also demand to have a prominent role in political decision making in the country, as they believe they were the primary forces behind the revolution. To add to the conflict, Libyan officials of the post-Qaddafi government are in disagreement with the actions to be taken regarding Qaddafi’s son Seif al Islam el-Qaddafi (who was captured on November 19th 2011). With the plot taking unexpected turns after the liberation of the country, 2012 will surely see more news stories from the country.

 

Athens

The capital city of Greece continues to play the role of protagonist in the unfolding drama of the Eurozone crisis. A surging debt crisis in result of years of over-spending, possible corruption and mismanagement of resources has left this beautiful, historically and culturally thriving city in economic shambles. The decisions that are made in the capital in the new year will not only affect the citizens of Greece, but due to its membership in the Eurozone, will determine the fate of several other countries too.

 

Tehran

Azadi Monument in Tehran, Iran

Tehran has been in the news constantly this year. Be it the alleged assassination attempt of a Saudi Diplomat to the United States, a severe violation of human rights, or the most recent critical low in relations with the United Kingdom (following the storming of the British Embassy in Tehran by individuals who are suspected to be members of the Basij militia), Iran has confronted a lot of critical situations. The country’s political journey through 2011 has been drama laden and if current stories are anything to go by, the coming year may prove to be equally if not more difficult for the country. The future of Iran’s relations with other countries can be expected to be strongly linked to Iran’s stance on its own nuclear program and its attitude towards foreign affairs in general. Any decision or action that Iran’s takes in the sphere of foreign affairs from here on will most definitely spark waves of discussion in the foreign policy circuit.

 

Washington DC

The Presidential Elections. That alone says enough about how much we can expect to hear about the various pitches provided by this year’s very distinct group of candidates, ranging from incumbent President Barrack Obama to Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain. Presidential Elections in a country of America’s size, economic standing (even now), and political influence is critical to understanding the world in 2012.   The President’s take on foreign policy, whatever it may be, will be of great importance to the world in this time of much global political change.

 

Rome

For anyone who has been even briefly been watching the news over the last few months, it comes as no surprise when I say Italy is in the throes of an economic disaster (as the ridiculously hefty figures of national debt indicate). And to add to everything, Italy’s (now ex) notorious Prime Minister conveniently submitted his resignation amidst all the drama. In a move that represented a welcoming of technocracy in the region, Italy welcomed Mario Monti as its new Prime Minister as well as temporary Minister of Economy and Finance. What’s in store for Italy next? Will Monti be able to work effectively with other European powers to solve this mounting crisis? Will he at least be able to prevent it from getting worse? We’ll have to wait to find out.

 

New York

This vibrant city (still a “concrete jungle where dreams are made”) faced the brunt of a tumultuous economic storm along with the rest of America and the world over the last few years. There are many reasons for why New York City should be watched out for in 2012. NYC is home to the UN headquarters where a lot of important decisions will surely be made this coming year (given the current political climate in the Middle East and North Africa). Another reason is of course the fact that since September of this year, Manhattan’s financial district has served as a protest hotbed for legions of people fighting against the wealthy ‘1%’. With such events taking place in the city, there is definitely reason to think of New York City in 2012.

 

Juba

courtesy Al-Jazeera English on flickr

On July 9th 2011, the world welcomed the newest addition to its family of nations in the form of South Sudan. Since gaining its independence however, all has not been hunky-dory. Regional conflict is still rife and border dispute matters are yet to be resolved. The New Year will have lots in store for the young nation in terms of opportunities to make decisions that will hopefully serve the nation for the better and not for the worse. Let’s keep an eye out for any activity in Juba this coming year, as any governmental decisions made over pressing issues in the country at this point will have an important impact on the country’s future.

 

 

Nikita Pillai

featured image source: http://www.lightmatter.net/gallery/albums.php

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